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Nontuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease (NTM-PD) is emerging worldwide. Currently recommended multidrug treatment regimens yield poor outcomes, and new drugs and regimens are direly needed. SPR719, the active moiety of SPR720, is a new benzimidazole antibiotic with limited data on antimycobacterial activity. We determined MICs and MBCs against 138 clinical and reference strains of M. avium complex (MAC), M. kansasii, M. abscessus, M. xenopi, M. malmoense, and M. simiae and determined synergy with antimycobacterial drugs by checkerboard titrations. To study pharmacodynamics, we performed time-kill kinetics assays of SPR719 alone and in combinations against M. avium, M. kansasii, and M. abscessus and assessed synergy by response surface analysis according to Bliss independence. SPR719 showed potent activity against MAC (MIC90, 2 mg/liter) and M. kansasii (MIC90, 0.125 mg/liter) and modest activity against M. abscessus (MIC90, 8 mg/liter); its activity is bacteriostatic and concentration-dependent. We recorded a potential for combination therapy with ethambutol against M. kansasii and M. avium and synergy with clarithromycin against M. abscessus Ethambutol increased the SPR719 kill rate against M. kansasii but only prevented SPR719 resistance in M. avium SPR719 is active in vitro against NTM; its activity is strongest against M. kansasii, followed by MAC and M. abscessus SPR719 shows promise for combination therapy with ethambutol against MAC and M. kansasii and synergy with clarithromycin against M. abscessus The parent drug SPR720 could have a role especially in MAC pulmonary disease treatment. Further studies in dynamic models and trials are ongoing to advance clinical development.

Original publication





Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

Publication Date





Radboudumc Center for Infectious Diseases, Department of Medical Microbiology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.